GCU develops dementia education for Cordia Care at Home

28 April 2015

Cordia, Scotland's largest provider of Care at Home services, has called on Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) experts to consult on the development of a dementia education programme for home carers.

Dementia affects about 800,000 people in the UK. The risk of developing dementia increases with old age, and with an increasingly ageing population it is estimated that, by 2021, the number of people with dementia in the UK will have increased to around 1 million.

The Care Inspectorate, the independent scrutiny and improvement body for care services in Scotland, has stated that it is vital that staff in care at home have better knowledge about the individual needs of people in their care. A number of care homes are coming up with innovative practices to help improve the quality of life for people with dementia.

Cordia is a care at home provider, supporting over 6300 Glaswegians with 2700 carers. The organisation aims to better equip home carers with a high quality, up-to-date programme of training in dementia, highlighting awareness of compassionate and dignified care.

Cordia currently delivers an informed training programme on dementia to all home carers as part of their two-week induction programme and is looking to expand the programme to up-skill carers to enable them to provide an excellent service for dementia sufferers.

GCU nursing lecturer and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde practitioner Dr Marie McAloon will support Jane McGuire, training advisor at Cordia, to develop, plan, implement and evaluate the training programme, using a combination of presentations, workshops and case studies, before the programme is rolled out to support carers throughout Cordia.

Dementia is a syndrome associated with an ongoing decline of the brain and its abilities. This includes problems with memory loss, language, understanding, judgement and emotions. Dr McAloon said: “There are different types of dementia, which means that there are different issues to deal with for the person and their family. We want to help integrate a person-centred approach to dementia care.”

Cordia’s Jane McGuire said: “I am extremely excited to work on this programme after 25 years’ experience in care provision and training and I am thrilled to be supporting our care sector team to make a real difference to the lives of the citizens of Glasgow.”

GCU is also working with dementia charity Playlist for Life, founded by GCU Honorary Graduate Dr Sally Magnusson. The charity encourages families and other caregivers to offer people with the condition a playlist of the music that has been meaningful to them during their life. GCU’s School of Health and Life Sciences has agreed to match fund £30,000 for a PhD student to research the impact of personalised music as part of the palliative care package for people with dementia.